Most of us don’t wait for winters to set in to whip out our chapsticks and lip balms. We have them lying in our tote bags, backpacks and purses 365 days a year. The most functional and non-descript of all cosmetics, chapsticks are now having their intentions questioned thanks to a new conspiracy theory that will change the way you look at them. Countless people on the internet are arguing whether their lip balms are causing addiction. Lip Balm Anonymous, a forum dedicated to the topic, have many testimonies from “addicts,” making us wonder whether these balms make us excessively dependent on them.
The website cites Dr Holly Phillips who appeared on The Early Show on the CBS, stating that lip balms can be addictive. The addiction, she says, works on a psychological as well as physical level and medicated ones are the biggest culprits. How to Keep Your Lips Soft and Hands Moisturised During Cold Weather.
A 1997 issue of Newsday featured an article titled “Paying for Lip Service” where the writer says that you can apply medicated lip balms many times a day and still suffer from dry, chapped lips. Some of the products contain ingredients like menthol, camphor or phenol, which can dry the lips out and cause a pleasant, tingling sensation. Users become so accustomed to the soothing, cooling sensation that using chapsticks become habit-forming.
They work by drying out your lips, which means you have to reapply constantly. Alpha hydroxy acids, which are one of the key ingredients in lip balms, is considered too harsh for the delicate membrane of the lips. They irritate the lips, causing persistent peeling, which starts a vicious cycle of reapplication. 5 Simple Beauty Hacks to Make Your Lips Look Fuller and Sexier.
Most salves also come in delicious fruity or minty flavours, which can entice us to lick our lips, drying them even further. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that generally help break down food. So constant licking of lips coats the surface with the powerful acids, which aggravates the peeling. Dermatologists say that your lips naturally exfoliate themselves in 28 days so you don’t need chapsticks as much as they’d like you to believe.